I’ve discovered that my kids are no longer picky eaters. They won’t all eat everything; but they will pretty much try anything. They’ve gone from “no sauce, this food can’t touch that food” to “I learned how to make lentil stew”. I don’t really know when these gastronomic adventurers arrived, or what they’ve done with my “bland food only” kids, but I’m going to keep mum for a while longer and enjoy eating with these alien-spawned creatures.
On Friday I took Syd (1/2 of the blond twins – aka the blister sisters) and a friend to the Haymarket. There were more exotic/foreign fruits and veggies than usual. Among the fresh figs and dragon-fruit, jackfruit and lychees, were some I’d never seen before. I was kind of staring at some little hairy ones, trying to figure out what they were and if I could con the alien-spawn into trying them, when a women started hooting and hollering behind me. “HOOO, dems all mine!”. She was a sketch, colorful headwrap and dress. She had a mesh shopping bag- the kind that looked like macrame from the 60s. She was laughing and pointing at some boring looking little green fruits. They looked like a smaller oval shaped key lime. “Dems my favorite dere”. Being as how I had 2 teenage girls with me, and how easy it is to horrify teens, I decided to make conversation with my colorful new friend. “So what the heck are those things and why are they so good?” “Dems Kenepa, dey from da islands” she said. “Dey be soooo good! You has to try one”. Haymarket vendors are very free with the samples, and the guy at this stand gave me the thumbs up. “Okay, how do you eat them?”. “Yee bites off de heads and eats de fruit inside, like de brains”. OMG!!! Does she know about my zombie loving alien-spawn kids? They’ve been obsessed with anything zombie for a good 3 years now. How could I not have known about this fruit??? I bought a pound of the tiny little things. That would be plenty, I thought.
We started trying them on the way to the train. You really do bite them off at the top, right below the stem. The skin is hard and cracks off easily. Inside, is the strangest stuff. There is a gooey, gelatinous substance. It tastes sweet, and tangy, but leaves a weird feeling on your mouth. Sort of like when you eat a not-quite-ripe banana. Some of the gel is in kind of snot-like strands clinging to the shell. Most of it is clinging to a big, hard seed in the center. She said you could roast the seeds, but I’m thinking that after everyone sucks the brain slime off of them that just isn’t happening. Sounds not-so-appealing, right? Well, the alien-spawn kids loved them. They seemed to love biting off the “heads” and sucking out the slime. They also liked the flavor. They polished off the whole pound before dinner. They spent the rest of that night, and the weekend, asking if I was very sure there weren’t any more. I’m going to look for that vendor this Friday, and see if he has more of these strange green things. I’m starting to wonder if there is some link between the fruit and my zombie loving crew. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. And so is that Twilight Zone theme song playing in my head…..